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Editorial Misconduct

Editorial Misconduct. George Thomas, Editor, Indian Journal of Medical Ethics www.ijme.in. Thanks Committee on Publication Ethics World Association of Medical Editors Richard Smith former editor BMJ. Responsibilities. • strive to meet the needs of readers and authors;

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Editorial Misconduct

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  1. Editorial Misconduct George Thomas, Editor, Indian Journal of Medical Ethics www.ijme.in

  2. Thanks • Committee on Publication Ethics • World Association of Medical Editors • Richard Smith former editor BMJ

  3. Responsibilities • strive to meet the needs of readers and authors; • constantly improve the journal; • ensure the quality of the material they publish; • champion freedom of expression; • maintain the integrity of the academic record; • preclude business needs from compromising intellectual standards; • always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed. COPE

  4. Responsibilities • Recognise and declare editorial interests • NEJM sold 929,400 reprints of a single research article on Vioxx • Be aware of interest beyond the commercial

  5. Responsibilities • Editors should: • Respect their journal’s constituents (readers, authors, reviewers, and the human subjects of research) by: • Making the journal’s processes (e.g., governance, editorial staff members, number of reviewers, review times, acceptance rate) transparent; • Thanking reviewers for their work; • Protecting the confidentiality of human subjects. WAME

  6. Nicole Suciu-Foca • She is the editor of Human Immunology • Invited Antonio Arnaiz-Villena, head of the immunology department at a large public hospital in Madrid and professor of immunology and cell biology at Madrid's Complutense University, to be the guest editor of a theme issue on anthropology and genetic markers • The guest editor was given little or no guidance on what was expected

  7. Nicole Suciu-Foca • Arnaiz-Villena's keynote paper concluded that Jews and Palestinians are genetically very close and that their "rivalry is based on cultural and religious, but not genetic, differences” • These and other “political” phrases caused uproar • The guest editor was fired from the editorial board • Article retracted • Subscribers urged "to physically remove the pages"

  8. Nicole Suciu-Foca • But did the problems arise from lapses in translation and editing rather than political intent--and was the guest editor scapegoated? • The editor did not face any judgement, but should she have done?

  9. Responsibilities • Improve the quality of their journal by: • Becoming familiar with the best practice in editing, peer review, research ethics, methods of investigation, and the rationale and evidence base supporting them; • Establishing appropriate programs to monitor journals’ performance; • Soliciting external evaluations of the journal’s effectiveness. WAME

  10. Sir Cyril Burt: the classic case • Founded the British Journal of Statistical Psychology and was its editor • Published 63 of his own articles • Often altered the work of others without permission, sometimes adding favourable references to his own work • Once he published a letter he wrote himself under a pseudonym and a response he also wrote himself under another pseudonym in order to attack a colleague

  11. Responsibilities • Promote self-correction in science and participate in efforts to improve the practice of scientific investigation by: • Publishing corrections, retractions, and critiques of published articles; • Take responsibility for improving the level of scientific investigation and medical writing in the larger community of potential authors and readers. WAME

  12. Responsibilities • Assure honesty and integrity of the content of their journal and minimize bias by: • Managing conflicts of interest; • Maintaining confidentiality of information; • Separating the editorial and business functions of the journal WAME

  13. In 2007, Reed Elsevier the publisher of Lancet and other journals was pressured by many academics including the Lancet to exit the arms exhibition which it was organising.

  14. Potential problems • Publication bias • Author known, institution known • Poor peer review • Poor response to authors

  15. Summary • Editors of medical journals have responsibilities to readers, authors, reviewers. • The Committee on Publication Ethics and The World Association of Medical Editors guidelines are helpful.

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